WDHB urges parents to immunise their children on time, every time

23 April 2013
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) cannot stress enough, how important it is for children to complete their full course of vaccines to protect them against preventable diseases such as measles, and that they receive them when they are due. 

Children need to be immunised on time, every time to be fully protected
WDHB portfolio manager Jon Buchan says the WDHB are using this week’s World Immunisation Week to remind parents that if they miss or delay immunisations they are increasing the risk of their children getting a preventable disease and reducing the protection that vaccines provide at a time when it’s needed most.
“Because children’s immune systems have not had much exposure to illness, they are very vulnerable to contracting serious diseases,” says Mr Buchan. “Immunisation is a proven and effective way to protect children and keep them healthy.”
“It’s almost like your children are being provided with their own personal ‘bodyguard’ to protect them against the serious threats posed by illnesses such as measles, pneumococcal disease and whooping cough.”
The immunisation schedule in New Zealand is structured to provide the best protection for children when they are most at risk. To fully protect a child from preventable diseases, they must be vaccinated at six weeks, three months, five months, 15 months and at the age of 4 and 11.
Females also need to receive a course of the HPV vaccine at age 12 to provide protection against cervical cancers.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) have clear expectations that 85 percent of eight-month-olds have received their six week, three month and five month immunisations on time by July 2013.
The MoH also aims for the same to be achieved for 95 percent of eight-month-olds by December 2014 to provide greater individual and community protection against preventable diseases.
Mr Buchan says a person who is up-to-date with their immunisations is not only protecting themselves but they are also helping to protect their family/whanau and the wider community.
“The more people who are fully immunised, the harder it is for outbreaks of preventable diseases to spread,” says Mr Buchan. “We are lucky to have providers like Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation (WRPHO) and Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority who continue to provide a great immunisation service to help protect all of us in the Whanganui region.”
Families can have their children vaccinated free of charge at:
  • their local GP practice
  • the weekly drop-in clinic (Wednesdays, 9am-1pm) at Gonville Health in Abbot Street
  • the weekly clinic (Tuesdays, 9am-5pm) at WRPHO’s Heads Road offices
  • the monthly clinic (first Monday of each month, 5pm-7pm) at Whanganui Accident & Medical clinic).